Wisconsin Statutes Marriage and Family (Ch. 765 to 770) § 767.501. Actions to compel support

(1) Definitions.  In this section:

(a) “Nonlegally responsible relative” means a relative who assumes responsibility for the care of a child without legal custody, but is not in violation of a court order.  “Nonlegally responsible relative” does not include a relative who has physical custody of a child during a court-ordered visitation period.

(b) “Relative” means any person connected with a child by blood, marriage or adoption.

(2) Who may commence;  support determination.  (a) If a person does not provide for the support and maintenance of his or her spouse or minor child, any of the following may commence a court action to compel the person to provide support and maintenance:

1. The person's spouse.

2. The minor child.

3. The person with legal custody of the child.

4. A nonlegally responsible relative.

(b) The court in the action shall, under s. 767.511 or 767.56 , determine the amount, if any, that the person should reasonably contribute to the support and maintenance of the spouse or child and how the sum shall be paid.  The amount shall be expressed as a fixed sum unless the parties have stipulated to expressing the amount as a percentage of the payer's income and the requirements under s. 767.34(2)(am)1. to 3. are satisfied.  The amount ordered to be paid may be modified by the court under s. 767.59 upon sufficient evidence.

(c) The determination may be enforced by contempt proceedings, an account transfer under s. 767.76 , or other enforcement mechanisms under s. 767.77 .

(d) In an action under this section, no filing fee or other costs are taxable to the person's spouse, the minor child, the person with legal custody, or the nonlegally responsible relative, but after the action has been commenced the court may order that all or part of any fees and costs incurred be paid by either party.

(3) Public assistance recipients;  action by state.  If the state or any subdivision of the state furnishes public aid to a spouse or dependent child for support and maintenance and the spouse, person with legal custody, or nonlegally responsible relative does not commence an action under this chapter for support or maintenance, the person in charge of county welfare activities, the county child support agency under s. 59.53(5) , or the department is a real party in interest under s. 767.205(2) and shall commence an action under this section.  An attorney employed by the state or a subdivision of the state may commence an action under this section.  The title of the action shall be “In re the support or maintenance of A.B. (Child)”.

(4) Legal custody and physical placement.  Upon request of a party to an action under this section, the court may make orders concerning the legal custody and physical placement of any minor child of the parties in accordance with s. 767.41 .


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